The SMU men’s tennis team fell to Tulsa University in the semifinals of the Conference USA tournament. The tournament took place in Houston over the weekend and it marks the fifth straight year that the Mustangs made it to the semifinals.
Although the score does not show it, the Mustangs performed very well against the Golden Hurricane, winning both No. 1 doubles and No. 1 singles. Tulsa’s No. 1 doubles team lost their match when they were charged two points. The first was for being overruled on three calls and the second was for abuse of an official. That gave Darren Walsh and Adham el-Effendi the points needed for an 8-5 win.
No. 2 and No. 3 doubles were both tightly contested affairs, but both SMU teams were edged out. Tobias Flood and Bryan Griffin fought until the end, but still fell, 9-7, to Tulsa. And at No. 3 doubles, Chris Hooshyar and Artem Baradach battled back from a 6-3 deficit to tie it at six-all, only to fall at the end, 9-8 (7-4).
In singles, Baradach, ranked No. 63 in the latest ITA polls, upset his opponent, No. 35 Marcelo Arevalo, 6-4, 6-2. Hooshyar was also on a roll and was about to finish off his opponent when the match was called. He was in the lead, 6-4, 6-5 when his match was called off.
“I’m really proud of our guys,” said head coach Carl Neufeld in an interview with smumustangs.com. “We won No. 1 singles and No. 1 doubles and most of the time you’re able to win the match doing that. You have to tip your hat off to Tulsa for a well-played contest.”
Though the Mustangs were not able to return home with the championship, they still had a strong season. They finished 15-12 and were the winners of four of their final five matches.